How To Decide Whether To DIY Or Go Pro
There comes a time in every homeowner’s life when they have to consider whether to do a project themselves or hire a professional. Sometimes the answer is obvious and sometimes the question leaves you stumped and anxious. The truth is, the answer will be different for everyone depending on multiple factors. Unless you have a helper-bot to get you through it, this guide is all you need to help you decide. (Reaching…I know. I just really wanted to use this photo.)
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Ask Yourself These Questions To Decide
1) Do you already have the right tools?
The answer to this question is important because if you already have the tools then you probably already know how to use the tools. Well, unless you’re just using them to decorate your shed. You are at least familiar with them and don’t need to shell out the money to buy new ones. If you don’t already have the right tools then at least price them out and compare the price with hiring a professional.
2) Do you have the skills?
Have you ever done a job like this before? If so, did you do it well? If you don’t already have the skills to do this job then you might end up spending a significant amount of time on it. Even worse, the job might not get done right. Often, a do-it-yourselfer might shift their expectations and their standards as they’re working on a project when they realize that they aren’t skilled enough to do the job well. Think now before you get to that point– will you and the people you’re living with (especially the people you’re living with) be happy with less-than perfect results? If you have any doubts, you may need to seek out a professional.
3) Do you want to learn something new?
If you don’t already have the skills, but you do have a healthy dose of curiosity and you’re looking for a challenge, then give it a shot! Just do as much research as you can; check out a few different tutorials or how-to websites so you can figure out the best way for you to complete the job.
However, even if you want the adventure of a new DIY project and the fulfillment of completing a project on your own, if you can’t find the right information then hire a professional. Sometimes the only guidance you can find online are in forums which may have conflicting information. In this case at least call a professional to pick their brain. Maybe have one come out and look at what you need done and give you advice for the price of a consultation. Beats paying full price for the labor and materials.
4) Does the work involve code?
If the project involves code, requires permits and inspections, it’s best left up to the professionals. Codes change often and can be complicated to understand and the job can be dangerous without the proper training and equipment. In El Dorado County anything that is over 120 square feet and/or involves power or water requires a permit and inspections. I’d seriously consider before DIY-ing a project like that. If it’s something like the photo above, you might be better off just moving.
5) Do you have the time?
Remember, DIY projects will suck up your evenings, weekends, and maybe even your vacation time. Are you (and the people you live with) prepared to invest so much of your free time into this project? Projects can take longer than you expect. Sometimes much longer. Plan for the worst.
6) Do you want high quality?
Then we’re back to analyzing your skills. Generally, since you are in control of the materials and the effort put into it you can make it the best quality. Sometimes, however, a DIY job looks like a DIY job. On the other hand, a professional can and should make sure the job is finished…professionally. It all depends on the project and your needs, wants, and skill level.
7) Did you already start and you’ve realized you’re in over your head and have made some major mistakes you don’t know how to fix?
You don’t have to answer out loud. That one can hurt. If the answer in your head is yes, call a professional. Live and learn. Get it over with and you’ll be glad when it’s completed.
Now Get That Project Done!
Now that you know whether you should pick up a hammer or a phone, keep moving forward and get it done. If you need a good handyman, consider Mike Cannon (530) 417-1915, and for a licensed contractor give Abby Palmer a call at (530) 391-3268. I know and trust both those guys.
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